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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  May 19, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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long time, and that the whistle has been blown on countless times before. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word." thanks for being with us. you know, tomorrow voters will decide what kind of candidates they want running for congress. hopefully, they'll be able to pick some who know more than just the word benghazi. >> karl rove this week reportedly suggested that hillary clinton suffered brain damage after a 2012 blood clot. >> no, no, no, no. wait a minute. >> it's clear republicans are testing a line of attack. >> i didn't say she had brain damage. she had a serious health episode. >> he then turned back into pudding-like goo and oozed through a drain in the floor. >> this started because karl rove started talking about brain damage and rove's fellow republicans have proven all too susceptible to the anti-clinton fever. >> talking about whether she had plastic surgery or not. >> hillary clinton. is there any real reason she shouldn't run for president? >> they're running on old scandals about monica lewinsky. >> any real reason?
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>> her record as a secretary of state. benghazi. boko haram. syria, russia. >> please, tell us in your expert opinion. >> what does that say about benghazi and about her leadership abilities? >> benghazi. benghazi. benghazi. >> given the month she just had, i actually doubt very much whether she actually will run for president in 2016. >> they want to scare hillary clinton out of the race. >> engaging in cheap shots is not going to back off hillary clinton. >> it's going to be very hard to scare her. she has seen it all. >> their strategy is backfiring. >> this is a resilient woman. she was raised to be resilient, and all of this talk will only serve to strengthen that backbone of steel. good evening. i'm ari melber in for lawrence o'donnell. at a private fund-raiser tonight president obama summed up the republicans' 2014 plan. he said, "the debate now is about what? benghazi? obamacare? it becomes this endless loop."
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the house republican campaign arm admits they are running on benghazi in 2014, saying, "we always advise candidates to do what fits with their position on the issues and represents their district, but clearly benghazi is just another example of why we need a check and a balance on this administration." it appears secretary clinton is playing an increasingly prominent role in the benghazi conspiracy theory. >> do you know where the idea for this video originated? do you know who it was that came up with that? do you have any idea who found that video and decided to use that? and the answer to that is mrs. clinton. folks. nobody knew at the time that it was part of the strategy to create the video as the blame for everything that would happen in the middle east on that day and night. it was terrorist activity and all that. and even so, after learning that
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they still sent susan rice out on the five sunday shows to lie and still focus on the video. >> that might be okay if it was confined to right-wing radio. but republican senators have also decided they want their own select committee devoted completely to benghazi and the conservative credibility that would come with a high-profile witch hunt on president obama and hillary clinton. in an extraordinarily weird press conference last thursday, one you really have to see to believe, south carolina senator lindsey graham, who is facing, we should mention, a primary battle on june 10th, said he's going to demand answers from susan rice about? about hillary clinton's health. >> if you believe susan rice, it was a request of secretary clinton to appear on tv. she declined. and if you believe susan rice, it was because secretary clinton had a grueling week. is that important? i think it is. i am very suspicious of this statement. i think most of us who know
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secretary clinton understand she's a very energetic lady, been through a lot. quite frankly a tough person. but let's just assume for a moment that's true. what does that say? about benghazi and about her leadership abilities. >> what does that say? he's not joking. now, senator graham's comments come in a context here. the karl rove-sparked speculation that hillary clinton may have brain damage. dr. rove was grilled about that again, actually, on fox news yesterday. this one may be too much for fox news. it was chris wallace with an assist from the fox news political panel. >> let me just ask a question. do you really have doubts about her physical capabilities? >> no, no, no. i don't. i'm not questioning her health. what i'm questioning is is whether or not it's a done deal that she's running. >> he says he's not bringing up
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mrs. clinton's health, but you are bringing it up. >> i brought up her -- >> you are -- >> i didn't question -- i did not say she had brain damage. >> it wasn't a matter of parsing karl's words. it was the impact was hillary clinton may have suffered brain damage -- >> yeah, it was implicit in what was said. that's fair. >> she suffered no long-term damage from this. >> it's must-see tv right there. joining me now, richard wolffe, executive editor of msnbc.com and karen finney, host of msnbc's "disrupt with karen finney." welcome to you both. >> hey, ari. >> thanks, ari. >> richard, where do you want to begin? let's start with the fact that as i mentioned, this is too much of an anti-hillary conspiracy for fox news. >> look, i'm not questioning karl rove's judgment in any way, shape, or form. i'm just wondering if he's lost all his clients and needs to defend his reputation given that his last client took the country into a disastrous war. but that's not saying anything about his political judgment right now. at all. i just want to make that clear.
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>> karen, dr. finney, what do you think? >> well, remember, he was -- we thought he was bush's brain? so you know, now it seems like he's a little scrambled. but this is -- what rove did, it was very intentional. he knew exactly what he was doing. he essentially has done this throughout his career. so we shouldn't be surprised. you know, he mainstreamed this piece of gossip-x then you kind of try to say i didn't say -- i think i loved the first answer, which was i didn't say brain damage. i said serious, you know, trauma or something like that. >> right. >> you know, we know exactly what he's doing. >> yeah. i guess what is slightly different here is i do think there's an accountability mechanism and it can be a good thing to actually put this up and make him answer for it. his answers have been weak. take a listen, though, to other republicans including bill kristol who's known if nothing else as a guy who thinks about republican strategy all day long. he doesn't think this is working. take a listen. >> you know karl rove pretty well. was this a shrewd move by karl
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or did he kind of overstep? >> i don't think this was a particularly shrewd move. i mean, we'll see how secretary clinton's health is. she'll be out there campaigning presumably. she'll -- i imagine her health will be fine. but in any case, people can see for themselves. so there's no reason for karl rove to speculate about it. >> i agree with bill. i think your point, i don't think it was helpful for a political operative as opposed to journalists to begin this whole story. but i also think in a funny way it will work for mrs. clinton's benefit. >> when peggy talks there about mrs. clinton's benefit, part of the issue is if you take something that might have a legitimate version, pressure on a candidate to release health records, for example, and you muddy it up this badly, you may scare a lot of your other potential allies out of it. >> yeah. look, it's a personal attack on a candidate who technically isn't running and doesn't have a press operation to push back on this. i guess this ridiculously early stage it can win some sympathy for secretary clinton.
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but more importantly, if you are a republican ideologue, strategist, call him what you like, what do you think you're positioning your party for? what are you running on? you may be running against a candidate who hasn't declared raising questions. but that is not an affirmative agenda for a party going into the mid-terms or someone laying the predicate for presidential change of tone and direction. and that's what republicans need to do right now. >> go ahead. >> i was just going to say, you know, basically what he's done, this is like the birther stuff, right? so now they've set it up that, well, she can just answer these questions by, you know, releasing those records, right? so that becomes part of the story. and then if you also listen to what rove was saying, he was saying, you know, she'll have to be forthcoming. so it's not just about -- and i do think those are the kinds of messages that do seep in. so it's not just about her health. he's also now made this about she's got to release the records to answer this very simple question, and maybe she would have had to anyway. but then it's also this question
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of will she be forthcoming with the information? and that is a narrative we've heard from them before. >> sure. and that brings us back to my favorite senate press conference in a while, favorite in a bad way, which was lindsey graham. he's supposed to be this serious wing of the republican foreign policy circles. he worked with senator mccain to rewrite our rules at guantanamo. he is not a random house member. and he's going deep down what jon stewart called the benghazi rabbit hole to pull at her health in this theory, richard. >> i think he may have been auditioning for a part in the next series of "house of cards." because there's no rational explanation. here's someone with national security expertise who is now pandering to the worst parts of the right-wing echo chamber about the deaths of three people engaged in active foreign service and diplomatic service for this country. i'm astonished. but you know, you made a play there saying it's because he's
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in a primary. well, he's going to win his primary. he does not need to do this. he doesn't need to curry favor with some parts of fox news. i cannot explain why he's doing it. >> right. and look, you mentioned the fox news and their concern about this. there's a strategic break there with one of their star commentators and also part of the republican leadership. before we go, karen, take a listen to reince priebus explaining his role and his qualifications on the issue raised by his friend karl. take a listen. >> sure. >> the issue of her health and her age is going to come up. >> do you think she suffered some sort of brain injury that raises legitimate questions about whether she's healthy to serve as commander in chief? >> i'm not a doctor. >> karen? >> again, reince knew exactly what he was doing. although one of the things i like to remind people if we're really worried about age, remember, women live longer than men. and people are living longer lives. somebody said yesterday on my show, 70 is the new 60. so if we're really questioning
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whether or not she will be fit to serve, it's a little ridiculous. >> and they not only live longer, something richard and i were discussing, they're always smarter. >> always. >> i don't know if you knew that. >> i'm glad you guys know that. >> karen finney and richard wolffe, thank you for joining me. going down the rabbit hole a little bit. coming up, republicans hope they don't end up with an extreme candidate for the senate race in georgia tomorrow night because democrats, turns out, have a pretty strong challenger of themselves. joy reid joins me next on that. and the movie "dallas buyers club" has inspired colorado lawmakers to do something interesting. they want to let sick people get more access to experimental drugs before those drugs get fda approval. and later, the u.s. says it has proof now that china is illegally hacking into our companies and our businesses. that is straight ahead. mine was earned in korea in 1953.
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today announcing that the bank credit suisse has been forced into pleading guilty to criminal charges. the company will pay over $2.5 billion in penalties. the charges are related to tax evasion. and it will have to terminate some selected employees according to regulators in new york. credit suisse would be now the largest bank to plead guilty to a criminal charge in over two decades according to the doj. next up, we will look at a different kind of accountability. tomorrow it's go time for some tea party challengers taking on the republican establishment in several states. we've got your briefing ready for super tuesday. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two.
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looking towards tomorrow's mid-terms super tuesday primaries establishment republicans are closing ranks in georgia where tea party candidates have been splitting up some of the hard right vote but the incumbents are already arch conservatives there. congressman jack kingston is in the running for a promotion to the senate and he hasn't been noticeably hurt by suggesting that low-income kids who are eligible for a free lunch should at least pay something for it like sweeping up their cafeter a cafeteri cafeterias. >> why don't you have the kids pay a dime, pay a knick toll instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch. or maybe sweep the floor in the cafeteria. yes, i understand that that would be an administrative problem, and i understand that it would probably lose you money. but think what we would gain as a society in getting people --
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meting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch. >> you've got to do that. you've got to get that myth out of their little heads. kingston is squaring off against conservative karen handle. she stepped down from the susan komen charity after a controversy over the group pulling funding from planned parenthood. they're both behind front-runner david purdue. purdue is very conservative, has the backing of many establishment republicans. a candidate needs 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff. the republicans need to elect a formidable candidate if they're going to beat michelle nunn, who is a pretty strong democrat that's emerged there. nunn is the former ceo of president george h.w. bush's points of light organization. she's also the daughter of long-time georgia senator sam nunn. if elected she would be the first female senator from georgia and the first democratic senator there since max cleland left in 2002. joining me now, the host of msnbc's "the reid report," joy reid. she interviewed michelle nunn
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over the weekend. i'm going to play some sound from your interview. but first tell us what you found out. >> it's interesting because you have a lot of georgians who the last time they voted for a democrat the name was nunn. sam nunn was a pretty popular sort of middle of the road democratic senator. so that name i.d. is helping michelle nunn. you also of course have a carter on the ballot running for governor. so you have a lot of familiar names on the democratic side which is actually seen as very helpful. and what michelle nunn is essentially doing is she's running as a very inoffensive type of democrat. she's not an obama democrat. she doesn't even say she's a democrat in her ads. and if you look on her website, she lists a lot of her priorities, campaign finance reform, getting georgia families in order. she does not list the affordable care act. not a word about it on the website. so she's not running affirmatively as the kind of democrat you would think wouldn't do well in georgia. >> right. and that goes to where the national politics differ from the state politics. bush one, if we look at the georgia election history, you won in 2004 by 17 points. that swung 12 points when obama
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came in, obviously altering the turnout universe. and yet these are the mid-terms as we all know, it's a very different environment. let's play some of your interview to get a sense of michelle nunn. >> i'm in southwest georgia. they tell me we have one of the highest premiums in the country. so we need to add more affordability for families and individual. i think we need to extend tax credits for small businesses. because our state did not expand medicaid, which i think was a mistake, but we need to make sure to repeal the cuts that are happening or could happen to our rural hospitals. and then i think we need to build up on the things that are working. i talk increasingly to people who come up to me and say i have health care for the first time. i had a pre-existing condition and i now have access to real health care. >> whoever the republican is that faces you in november, they're going to run against you on the obamacare. are you going to run affirmativeaffirmativ affirmatively on the affordable care act? >> i'm going to say we need to put people ahead of politics and focus on what do we need to do to expand medicaid and to
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actually build upon things that are working and change the things that aren't in terms of health care. >> so more medicaid than obamaca obamacare. >> yeah. and of course medicaid being a state issue. so she's essentially running on the things that georgians want. georgians actually pollingwise prefer to expand medicaid. it's something that they want done that their state is not doing currently. and she's running on the parts of the affordable care act that are popular. you see she mentioned the rural hospitals. the cuts for people who do not -- for states that don't expand medicaid, their associated cuts are really hurting rural hospitals. she's hitting that and she's hitting the parts of the affordable care act that are popular without embracing the entire law. that's really the way you run on the affordable care act in a red state. >> right. and there's nothing wrong with that. it's arguably a nuanced policy approach as well. i want to give a little shout out here to jack kingston. my heart goes out to him a little bit. because he is by all accounts one of the most conservative members of congress and the voting records and all that. he's with the tea party on everything. and yet in this bizarro georgia tea party world he gets attacked for surrendering to president
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obama, which is news to everyone. take a look at this ad from phil gingrey. >> georgians can send a true conservative to the senate. but will we condone karen handle'll's vote for youth pride that promotes teenage moment homosexuality? or david perdue championing common core with obama, taking education decisions away from parents? or jack kingston siding with liberals, surrendering to obamacare. >> i mean, that's got to burn you up if you vote for repeal 40 times and then they still say you surrendered. >> and jack kingston is not considered the front-runner right now as you mentioned, david perdue's ahead of him, who's got sort of a mitt romney problem where he's run these business that's have lost like 8,000 jobs. but in this race those three candidates are considered the establishment. there are actually people even further to the right. you've got paul brown who said that evolution is a lie straight from the pit of hell. that's one of our also rans. then of course you also played phil gingrey who said that todd
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akin's legitimate rape comments, they might not be so far off. so there are people actually far to the right of kingston. so his problem now is he's looked at as the establishment because he's an elected official from evil washington. >> and that's a bigger point, and it will be interesting when we watch these returns tomorrow night, is does it matter what happens to these tea party candidates or have they so fully scammed their fiscal austerity conservatism on the establishment that they've already won in that sense? joy reid, thanks for being here tonight. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. and you can tune in as i mentioned tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. eastern for special coverage of tuesday's primaries. chris matthews will be here. coming up, "the dallas buyers club" and colorado's controversial idea to help sick people get drugs they say they need. that's next. cars are driven by people. they're why we innovate. they're who we protect. they're why we make life less complicated. it's about people.
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roger thompson. this is my patient. you're treating these people? >> they're treating themselves. >> with what? >> vitamins, peptide tea, ddc, anything but that poison you're hucking. you ever wear any color? seems like every time i see you all i see is white. white coat, white shoes, white -- >> i am telling my patients to stay away from here. >> why? >> life may be imitating art in colorado. tonight governor john hicken looper just signed a right to
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try law, which makes colorado the first state to allow terminally ill patients to participate in certain clinical trials using medications and device that's have not been fully approved by the fda. one of the co-sponsors has since dubbed it's dallas buyers club bill the name taken of course from last year's oscar-winninging film about an aids patient who smuggles in treatments from mexico to help himself and others. the real inspiration in colorado came from nick auden, a father of three with stage 4 melanoma who died while unsuccessfully lobbying two companies to use an experimental drug outside of traditional clinical trials. >> i think i can be a case study for this drug and to show how it works. what they need actually is someone with melanoma who's fit and strong. i have melanoma, and i'm fit and strong. and with that drug i can defeat this. >> my dad is so strong that he can get better. >> meanwhile, similar right to try bills await governor's
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signatures in louisiana and missouri while arizona voters will vote on the issue directly in november. proponents of these laws say they add a bit more flexibility for people fighting for their life or for at least a little more time. but many opponents, including some physicians and ethicists argue that however well intentioned the policy maybe the science suggests this kind of experimentation can not only breed false hope but even potentially hurt the very patients it's designed to help. joining me now on this important topic is dr. zeke emanuel, a former health policy adviser to president obama and chair of medical ethics and health policy at the university of pennsylvania and frank burrows, founder of abigail alliance for better access to developmental drugs, which has helped push for some of these right to try laws after his daughter died before getting an experimental treatment. welcome to you both. >> nice to be here. >> nice to be here tonight. thanks for the invite. >> of course. frank, let me start with you. why do you think this law is the right thing to do in this case for terminally ill patients? >> we've been working -- the
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abigail alliance for better access to developmental drugs has been working on this for 13 years. and it's important that people have a chance to fight for their life. and let me start off with something that's really profound and says so much. every drug for cancer and other serious life-threatening illness that the abigail alliance has pushed for earlier access to in our 13-year history is now approved by the fda. not one drug failed to make it through the clinical trial process. >> zeke, let me bring you in there. you've argued that there are both professional and ethical problems with some of these proposals. why is that? >> so you know, there's a reason we have the fda and we have a very strict way of approving drugs and testing them out in humans. it's snake oil salesmen and drugs that harm people and we find out after the fact because we didn't do the proper trials.
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look, i'm an oncologist. every single patient who dies is a tragedy and it's very painful for everyone, the family, the doctor, everyone involved. we want to get drugs to trial -- to the public. we want to get them as fast as possible. the best way to do that is to go through the clinical trials process, not to do a one-off here and a one-off there where we don't get data. plus, if we do these trials early, i mean, if we just experiment with people early, we're not actually getting data that allow us to critically and scientifically assess a drug. this is going to actually slow down getting drugs to patients, not speed it up. >> zeke, let -- >> the last thing i would say is most drug -- reputable drug companies don't want to release their drugs to haphazard trial like this. they want to do it orderly. >> so zeke, let's dive in on that point and then i'm going to go back to frank. on the point about the trials, when you say data, that can sound sort of in the clouds. i think what you're driving at is that's important because that is a predicate to getting these things approved so they can actually go to market on a mass
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scale. >> it's a predicate for knowing whether the drug actually works or doesn't work, is simply not helping a patient or actually harming a patient. and unless you have the data, you can't really know that. and just releasing it to one person doesn't tell you whether a drug works or doesn't work. you need lots of people and you need an orderly process. there's usually a three-step process to actually testing out a drug and seeing whether it works. and then you actually have to follow lots of people in the public after you release the drug to make sure it's not causing some rare but very serious harm. all of that is overseen by the fda, who i think has done in general a good job here. not perfect but a very good job. and we shouldn't disrupt that. we've gotten a lot of new drugs over the past few years precisely because we follow this orderly process. and also, we have a lot of therapies for aids precisely because we follow this same
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orderly process. >> so frank, let me get your thoughts on that. and also speak to what the fda says here, which they already allow access to these kind of investigative drugs. outside of clinical trials they have something as you know that they call the expanded access or compassionate use provision. and it basically allows for access to experimental drugs outside of a clinical trial. the patients must have a life-threatening disease or condition and no therapeutic alternatives. a manufacturer and the doctor then would make special arrangements. why isn't that enough if that's current federal law? >> well, we've got two questions there. so i'll try to go with the first one. and first of all, no one was listening to what i was saying when i first spoke tonight, and that is every drug we've pushed for is now approved. what we've been talking about is promising investigational drugs, drugs that show promise. the other thing is that you can have the fda doing careful
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studies, at the same time granting earlier access to people who've run out of options in their battle to live. >> and speak to the -- i'll go to you in a second, zeke. speak to the state-federal point. some people say this is a lot of false hope because the states don't regulate the way the fda does. >> again, we're talking about promising -- this is a good point, though. let me put this in. what we have found in 13 years, we hear from patients all the time, they're not after just any drug. they are looking after drugs that they have found on the internet, they've worked with their doctors, and that show promise in early clinical trials. they want something that has some hope. they are a lot more savvy than a lot of people give them credit for. so again, we're talking about promising investigational drugs. and remember, every drug we push for is now approved. that's what we're talking about here. >> and you can have that at the
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same time you're having a careful clinical trial evaluation. >> zeke, briefly. >> that is false. let's make three points. if you make the drug available without entering a clinical trial, you will -- >> that's not what i said. that is not what i said. >> you will siphon off people who would enroll in the clinical trial. you will make it slower to actually assess whether a drug works or doesn't. and you will then slow down getting the drug to many more people. >> that's not -- that's absolutely not true. and if -- >> second point. this is very important. there's nothing in these laws that can force a drug company to release the drug to people. drug companies have to want to do this. and typically they don't want -- the reputable ones don't want to release it. >> and i think that -- gentlemen, i think that's a big -- i'm going to jump in, zeke, because we're out of time. zeke, i have to -- gentlemen, i'm jumping in because we are out of time. we wanted to have the conversation because it's important. i appreciate the points raised. and end of life issues require even more time than we have, i admit. but we are going to go and hopefully talk to both of you about it again. zeke emanuel and frank
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burroughs. thank you for your time tonight. and coming up with so many people lately saying disparaging things about race, michelle obama says actually something inspiring. that is next. and for the first time members of china's people's liberation army are indicted on hacking charges against the u.s. of a. honestly, the off-season isn't really off for me. i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game. with skype, it's just really easy to stay in touch with the kids i work with. alright, russell you are good to go! alright, fellas. alright, russ. back to work!
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welcome to the modern world. esurance. backed by allstate. click or call. here's one you may not have heard about. chipotle restaurants are asking their customers to just leave their guns at home. that's after a group of open carry activists in texas showed off their weapons while eating at a dallas-area chipotle. the gun control group backed by mike bloomberg started a petition asking for chipotle to ban guns. the restaurant responded not with a ban but a historic request. "historically we felt it enough to simply comply with local laws regarding the open or concealed carrying of firearms because we believe that it is not fair to put our taemt members in the uncomfortable position of asking that customers refrain from bringing guns into our restaurants. however because of display of guns in our restaurants has created an environment that is intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers we think it's time to make this request." we'll see if people honor it. now, up next, two extraordinary
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speeches on one very difficult topic -- race. dorian warren joins me next. cut! [bell rings] this...is jane. her long day on set starts with shoulder pain... ...and a choice take 6 tylenol in a day which is 2 aleve for... ...all day relief. hmm. [bell ring] "roll sound!" "action!"
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you all take the diversity you're surrounded by for granted. you probably don't even notice it. and then when some folks got all worked up about a cereal commercial with an interracial family you all were probably thinking, really? what's the problem with that? but remember, not everyone has grown up in a place like topeka. see, many districts in this country have actually pulled back on efforts to integrate their schools, and many communities have become less diverse as folks have moved from cities to suburbs. so graduates, the truth is that
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brown versus board of ed isn't just about our history. it's about our future. >> first lady michelle obama spoke to graduating students in topeka, kansas on saturday in the school district that was integrated by brown, the landmark supreme court case. it was the 60th anniversary of that famous supreme court decision. and the obama administration sent out two very prominent faces to mark the anniversary, the first lady and the man at the center of some of the administration's most far-reaching civil rights reforms, eric holder. >> the biggest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines. they are more subtle. they cut deep. and their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded, the obvious ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized. >> and these issues go well beyond the walls of our schools. we know that today in america too many folks are still stopped on the street because of the
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color of their skin. or they're made to feel unwelcome because of where they come from or they're bullied because of who they love. >> the attorney general also directly cited the recent controversies around donald sterling and cliven bundy but cautioned against taking too much satisfaction in the condemnation of those rants. instead he argued that systemic racism in our justice system and our economy is far more important. and holder emphasized three specific areas where more real reform is needed. in criminal sentencing, where the obama administration has been changing harsh sentencing rules and mandatory minimum drug laws that discriminate by race. in voter protection, where he cast the overwhelmingly republican efforts to limit the right to vote as a modern moral failing. and in the erosion of civil rights protections at the supreme court, where he singled out chief justice john roberts' decision that argues that ignoring race is the best remedy for racism.
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that approach, holder said this weekend, incorrectly presupposes that racial discrimination is at a sufficiently low ebb that it doesn't need to be actively confronted. when in fact, holder argued, courts should continue their historic role of actively scrutinizing and striking down laws that discriminate. joining me now to reflect on the anniversary here is dorian warren a columbia professor who studies inequality in politics, also an msnbc contributor. good evening to you. what do you take from these twin speeches on this anniversary? >> i think there are two ways to think about both of these speeches. the first is that we can't imagine anyone in the obama administration in the first term talking as explicitly about racial inequality. so there's been a noticeable shift to both attorney general he can eric holder, first lady michelle obama, giving these significant speeches about race and race sxmz racial inequality. that's the first notable thing. secondly, and i am a nerd, and so i love this, there is social science research embedded in these speeches.
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so this is evidence-based policy making at its best. they are citing studies about the resegregation of public schools, about the disproportionate impact of sentencing laws on african-americans. so they're undergirding these speeches is evidence around what is the current state of racial inequality in america that i think is quite important for this administration to in many ways educate the american public about the continuing problem of race. >> i think that rings true. i also think to some degree they did a division of labor. >> yes. >> they coordinate these things as i know from working in politics. they're not going to do the same speech. but michelle came out and did the heart, whereas eric holder came out and really did the system. let me play michelle obama talking about the heart, passive racism, and what is in our minds. take a listen. >> now, our laws may no longer separate us based on our skin color, but nothing in the constitution says we have to eat together in the lunch room or live together in the same neighborhoods.
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there is no court case against believing in stereotypes or thinking that certain kinds of hateful jokes or comments are funny. so the answers to many of our challenges today can't necessarily be found in our laws. these changes also need to take place in our hearts and in our minds. >> that's certainly inspiring and true. although it is also some of the language that sometimes is co-opted by conservatives to suggest we don't need to do things. i want to put up on the screen some of eric holder's reforms which he spoke of in his address that are quite concrete. drug sentencing disparities reduced in the crack and cocaine context. drug clemency criteria changed to deal with that and to deal with a lot of black men serving time that they literally wouldn't have been serving if they were just white and doing drugs. a smarter sentencing act is a proposal he's officially backed to do that on a wider scale. i should mention bipartisan and also changing mandatory mims.
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these are things the administration is already doing. but as i talk about that division of labor, they don't always, to your point, talk about it as racial systemic reform. >> until now. and that is the shift that we're seeing because he did -- attorney general holder in that speech did talk about those things as you pointed out and there was a division of labor. so the first lady did talk about hearts, and essentially we might think of that as cultural change. what other cultural change is needed to address racial inequality and racism? but then if we look at attorney general holder's speech he says explicitly talk is not sufficient to deal with the challenge. it has to be about actions and policies. and i think by pivoting from the cliven bundy and donald sterling and the spectacle, as he called it, of focusing on people's words, he helped pivot us back to what are the policies that are having a racially disparate impact on communities of color in particular? >> and where do you think the first lady fits in? because as you mentioned this is a shift and she is one of the
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more popular people in the administration, although it wasn't always that way. >> i think she was talking to the younger generation after millennials and saying i know you that don't think these are big issues because you don't live in the world that our parents did or your parents did and grandparents, but by the way, there are still things that you have to do. and in fact, she used the word complexity, which i also appreciated, to say to the next generation, you have to figure this out. now, we're doing our job, but you have to figure this out as well. >> yeah, it's striking and it's funny because sometimes people say what are the point of all these anniversaries, even the big ones? her speech both made to students and with such an intergenerational focus really made for an interesting reflection on brown, which is a high point in american law. quickly. >> and the administration in some ways could not avoid talking about race on these anniversaries. the 60th anniversary of brown, 50th anniversary of the 1964 civil rights act. >> and as martha stewart would say, that is a good thing. professor dorian warren, thanks
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for being here today. >> thanks, ari. appreciate it. >> absolutely. coming up next the u.s. says it has proof of chinese citizens conducting cyber warfare against american companies. s you on you. you wouldn't have it any other way. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or any allergic reactions like rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
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comcast business built for business. the nba has officially begun the process of forcing donald sterling to sell the l.a. clippers. the nba released assertions today claiming that sterling engaged in conduct that has damaged the league and its teams, disparaged african-americans, and mr. sterling's actions damaged the nba's relationship with its consumer base, its fans. sterling has until may 27th to respond and can then make his case to an nba board. up next the u.s. justice department says it has proof china's attacking american companies in cyberspace. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for, because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you.
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avo: whatever you can imagine, all in one place expedia, find yours today we are announcing an indictment against five officers of the chinese people's liberation army for serious cybersecurity breaches against six american victim companies. these represent the first ever charges against known state actors for infiltrating united states commercial targets by cybermeans. this is a case alleging economic espionage by members of the chinese military. >> that was attorney general eric holder today announcing unprecedented charges against five members of the people's liberation army for allegedly hacking into the computer systems of american companies located in western pennsylvania. companies include u.s. steel, alcoa and westinghouse electric
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company. according to the indictment, the hackers stole information and trade secrets that could directly benefit chinese competitors. china's foreign ministry did deny the accusations and said it's actually the u.s. that's in the wrong saying "for a long time it's been obvious that the relevant u.s. departments have been carrying out large-scale organized cyber theft and cyber surveillance on foreign dignity ri dignitaries, corporations and individuals. china is the victim of u.s. cybertheft and cybersurveillance." currently the u.s. doesn't have an extradition treat qi with charges leaving many skeptics wonder field goal these charges mean much of anything. the attorney general, however, doesn't think so. >> when a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an american executive or corporation, to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of its state-owned companies, we must say enough is enough. >> joining me now is michael lighter, former director of the national counterterrorism center
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as well as an msnbc cybersecurity and national security analyst. good evening. >> hi, ari. how are you? >> i'm good. walk us through the national security implications here. you've got a country that is at times a partner, obviously a keert, a competitor, and now engaged in allegedly what we consider criminal if not war-like activities. the. >> the key here is the u.s. is distinguishing between traditional espionage, spying on a country for defense secrets, figuring out how they build their missiles or their tanks, and those countries, in this case china, who are using spying and the state power to spy and in this case cyberespionage to steal economic secrets from u.s. companies and hand those over to chinese companies to advance those economic interests. and from a national security perspective this is obviously very serious, as was noted in the press conference. it results in an enormous disadvantage to u.s. companies, an advantage to chinese companies, and that can lead to
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u.s. companies losing market share, having to lay people off and the like. so this is an ongoing fight between the u.s. and china and this is a serious escalation today by the united states. >> right. and yet michael, walk us through some of the foreign policy dynamics because whether you think the chinese government's view here is right or wrong, it would seem to be earnestly held, that they actually don't buy our big distinction between business and government. and they say hey, if we're going to talk, as the statement refers, if we're going it talk about this, your government, the u.s., is doing all sorts of cyber espionage and the like. and let me read one more point from the "washington post" where it says chinese intelligence services are eager to understand how washington works. hackers are often searching for the uchb seen forces that might explain how the administration approaches an issue, experts say. many chinese officials presuming reports by think tanks or news organizations are secretly the work of government officials. much as they would be in beijing. break that all down for us.
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>> well, i think it's clear there is a difference -- whether or not there's a difference is open to debate. and what i mean by that is the u.s. does not steal secrets, for example, from france's airbus and give to boeing so boeing can sell more aircraft. and that is what china is doing here. as you said, the chinese officials both deny that they're doing any of this, and second, they say the u.s., you're doing the same thing. and from my perspective there really is a difference. but if you're china and you have all state-owned enterprises, the government owns these economic levers, then that distinction is lost. what i think is key is china is an outlier in this activity. this isn't just a u.s. versus china. this is largely -- not entirely but largely the world versus china. and it is only china that is doing this sort of activity at this scale really on a global perspective. >> and why do you think the obama administration decided to go so hard on this now?
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>> this has been going on for really many years. the indictment itself notes that some of this activity goes back to 2006, 2007. so this has been slowly escalating. it started to peak a little bit last year when the national security adviser and president obama met with their chinese counterparts and said this has to stop. really nothing changed. some of it was publicized. the chinese slowed down, but ultimately nothing changed. so this was the next step to try to build additional pressure on the chinese. i don't think that this activity, certainly these individuals won't ever see a u.s. court. and i don't think this initial act means a lot in terms of stopping china. but i do think it is an important step in trying to create more of a global effort to say to the chinese we'll keep spying on each other for defense and security reasons but there has to be a line drawn at these economic interests. >> yeah. and if nothing else, regardless of what the indictments lead to with the court process, it's interesting to see this public
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case made. obviously, they're trying to do something with that and have that be accountable for the world's eyes. micha michael leiter, thanks for your time tonight. >> good to be here. >> as i mentioned earlier in the broadcast be tomorrow night there will be an election special report at 10:00 p.m. eastern. and chris hayes is up next. good evening from new york. i'm christ hayes. it is primary night eve in america. voters preparing to go to the polls in arkansas, georgia, idaho, oregon, and pennsylvania. and with the tea parties dominant. the stakes are high and the fight for victory has gotten downright nasty this evening. it is nasty in idaho, where the incumbent governor
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